Depth Shading

By Mark Lassagne

What’s the best way to locate productive structure on a lake especially one you haven’t fished often?

A paper map, mapping on your phone, tablet or better yet a quality graph with a good map card.

Have you ever taken a topo map and marked up the contour lines so you can see those good spots?

Marking up a map is great for sitting at your table but what about when your running down the lake?

You’re on the lake catching them on main lake long tapering points. How do you locate the next spot to try? What about flats in a creek channel or an off shore hump.

What about when you find that killer spot how hard is it to locate something similar?

If your running Garmin they have a feature called depth shading where you can color depth ranges and see at a glance the area, you’re at and easily locate similar fish catching areas.

I use depth shading in couple ways one is to set the lake level on a lake that is low so I can see the shore line (some lakes you can set the level) and potential hazards or two is to locate new places to fish.

When the depths are colored its really easy to locate a similar area or find that spot you never knew was there.

Once Fishing a tournament, I located fish in the backs of coves with about 10 foot of water, but the lake was about 100 feet low where the standard GPS map didn’t show them very well. I needed to fish new coves every day so what I did was add depth shading starting at 110 to 120 and then 120 to 130 – doing this I was able to see the better coves at a glance and caught good limits every day.

I run a Garmin 7610 and use depth shading every time I hit a lake.

You can preset a variety of depths then turn them on and off for different bodies of water. Say lake X is at full pool you lace the setting as preset then lake Y is 20 feet low you can just turn off the first setting or adjust them.

The get there: Tap Menu then Layers – Water – Depth Shading Tap the color bar and then adjust the depth and the color you’d like that depth to be.

I hope this helps you locate your next hot spot.